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Re: Create user during installation

Bruce Sass wrote on 02/04/2005 01:02:
Ya, ok, it is still a significant amount of work, but it would be Debian's work and not that of the upstream authors.

Now, what does make more sense?

a) Investing a huge amount of time and thought into cleanly managing
   system users (i.e. UIDs not associated with humans but with
   programs/packages), possibly across many systems (i.e. different
   hosts or even operating systems). Let alone the amount of time
   to use this management software across all packages.
b) Have each software create the needed users during installation
   if they don't already exist and have these users left behind on
   purge (wasting a few bytes per package at most).

IMHO, it is clear to me that (b) is the answer. But if anyone would implement (a), I would happily use it in my packages. But keep these requirements in mind:
1) The system has to keep track of all packages on all hosts which
   need the UID in question.
2) The system has to allow the admin to mark a UID as dont_delete
2b) The system should allow the admin to add arbitrary
   host/package/needed-uid tupels to the database.
3) The system _must_not_ delete a UID if at least a single package
   on a single involved host still needs it.
4) Keep in mind that Debian hosts are often used in heterogenous
   environments, which might also involve other UNIX derivates and/or
   Windows hosts. Many user-databases (especially LDAP) can be used
   cross-platform like this.
5) A UID once created on a Debian host might also be needed by a
   program on a FreeBSD or even a Windows host after that.

So: (a) would only work if (2) is implemented and/or it is available and usable on all hosts in a network with a shared user database. By "and/or" I mean: If (2) (especially (2b)) is implemented, it might provide a way to work around missing implementation of the system on a given host or around a package which needs specific uids but doesn't (yet) use that system.


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